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British investor in Madoff scheme kills himself

A former British soldier killed himself after losing his life savings in an alleged US$50 billion fraud run by Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff, news reports said yesterday.

William Foxton, 65, who had served in the British Army and more recently worked as a defence contractor in Afghanistan, died from a single bullet wound to the head in the southern English port city of Southampton on Tuesday, police said.

"A pistol was recovered at the scene. Police do not believe the death to be suspicious," a police statement said.

News reports said his death was a suicide and quoted his son, Willard, as linking it to the loss of his life savings of close to 1 million pounds (US$1.45 million) in the alleged Madoff fraud.

The BBC's website said Foxton had invested his life savings in two Austrian-based hedge funds, but shortly before his death he discovered both funds had been closed and their funds invested with Madoff.

"I want Madoff and others involved to know that they have my father's blood on their hands," Willard Foxton was quoted by The Daily Telegraph as saying.

"I'm very angry. My first thought was to show up at Madoff's trial in New York and throw my father's medals in his face."

William Foxton served with the British Army until the mid-1970s, lost an arm in an explosion in 1976 and later joined the Sultan of Oman's armed forces, where he rose to the rank of major, the newspaper said.

He also worked on United Nations humanitarian missions and, in the 1990s, led a European Commission monitoring mission in the Balkans, it said.


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